How to spot one.
The puppies and kittens in pet store windows are super cute right? Well, for most shops those animals come from puppy mills. The living conditions are inhumane and abusive, but how do you know if a breeder is responsible?
Here are some tips on how to spot a responsible breeder. Look out for someone who:
- Never sells puppies to a dealer or pet shop.
- Screens animals for heritable diseases and removes affected animals from the breeding program.
- Affected animals may be altered and placed as pets as long as health issues are disclosed to buyers/adopters.
- Removes aggressive animals from breeding program.
- Keeps animals healthy and well-socialized.
- Never keeps more dogs than they can give the highest level of care to. This includes:
- Quality food, clean water, proper shelter from heat or cold, exercise, socialization and professional veterinary care.
- Has working knowledge of genetics and generally avoids inbreeding.
- Bases breeding frequency on mother’s health, age, condition and recuperative abilities.
- Does not breed extremely young or old animals.
- Ensures newborn animals are kept clean, warm, fed, vetted and with the mother until weaned.
- For dogs and cats, this means 8 to 10 weeks before they can be placed with a new family.
- Screens potential guardians. Discusses positive and negative aspects of animal/breed.
- Provides a clear adoption/purchase contract (aka no loop holes or fine print). It should outline:
- breeder’s responsibilities
- adopter’s responsibilities
- health guarantees and return policy.
- Provides accurate and reliable health, vaccination and pedigree information.
- Makes sure pet-quality animals are sold on a limited registration (dogs only), spay/neuter contract, or are altered before placement.
- Will take back any animal of their breeding, at any time and for any reason.
Get the facts about puppy mills. GO 
Source: ASPCA